Phoenix Wright: Justice for All

2008-12-07 21:54:08

Phoenix Wright: Justice for All(Nintendo DS)

I truly have a love hate relationship with adventure games. On one hand I love the sense of accomplishment I get as I progress through portions of the game by my wits, but this is usually crushed under the embarassing other hand that bitch slaps me with what I like to call fairy tale logic. Phoenix Wright Justice for all is no stranger to either of these hands, though I do have to say its Pimp hand is strong.

So a certain friend advised that I should play this epic series of games as they are some remarkable piece of work. One of these days I'll learn to stop taking advice from good friends and game magazines and just go by my gut instinct, which is almost never wrong.

I managed to survive the first trial without any need of hint or guide, I made it just by looking closely at all the evidence and making calculated guesses on where to present the evidence to blow holes in the prosecution. Only thing I started to notice was that in order to proceed without failure I had to PRESS every statement. which is much akin to it's uglier brother the "rub every item on everything hoping for an interaction" that you may remember from Kings Quest series and just about every other damn adventure game of all time, except Police Quest, which while having quest in the name gave you all of 5 seconds often to rub the right item on the right thing according to police protocol, which was a blast of fresh, though sometimes annoying air.

Couple this romp through crazy moon logic with typical Anime cliches and you've got the makings for a Nipponese abortion. You've got your cute yet powerful tiny tot who won't hesitate to hurt you bad if you make her upset, the big breasted co-attorney spirit that enters your secretaries body, a whip and lederhosen bound german stereotype prosecutor, a bubbly fully optimistic to the point of ignorance circus performer. and in the end a nice guy with a ugly side. and while all these people caterwail on screen you also have to pick apart crimescenes with the stylus, ask these "people" about the crime, show them pieces of evidence, and then go to trial..

Trial is where you throw down in this game, this is the test your memory and test your logic component. problem is, that sometimes it seems right to present evidence that is clearly contradictory to a sentence and the judge will simply say "what? no it doesn't" and gives you a punishment in the form of damage to your HP, instead what you should've done was press the statement that's contradictory to turn it into a full scale lie and then bash it into the ground with the evidence, despite the flaw in the statement being enough to convict anyway. It gets so frustrating to make these minor failures when ultimately you are correct in presenting the evidence, it's just not as strong a way to present it. give us a little credit and fill in the gaps game!

So in the end I found myself digging through walkthroughs and becoming extremely frustrated by the whole crazy moon logic in parts of Phoenix Wright, while occassional detours into the land of the wtf why would I do that in real life logic spending most of your times there is madness. Once I got to the ending which wasn't awesome enough to make up for the hours of churning though a walkthrough to pass several key logic traps, I yanked the DS cartridge out of the system, gave it my geek glare hoping it would burst into flames, when no such thing occured I threw it back into the gamefly mailer and shipped that sucker home, not forgetting to drag the other 3 games in the series closer to the bottom of my gameq. I'm just not ready to cope with another one of these chore filled games for a while.

I give this game a strict 3/10, cliche anime characters, moon logic, and slow menus make for a grating experience on an otherwise good concept.


Reason Rank
Start 10
Cliche Anime Characters -5
Moon Logic -4
Sluggish controls -2
Good concept of design